Kitchen Tips – How To Clean Butcher Block

Kitchen Tips – How To Clean Butcher Block

I have admitted this before…I am actually one of those people who enjoys cleaning!  I find the process to be relaxing and almost cathartic. And for me it is very rewarding because I can usually see a huge difference in a short amount of time – instant gratification so to speak! While most people don’t enjoy it the way I do, I would guess that nearly everyone would admit that after they are done cleaning they feel better, maybe “lighter,” happier, or just plain glad it is over.

Springtime brings with it a new energy. A zestfulness. And for many, the willpower to tackle some household chores that they have been putting off during the winter season. For us at Butcher Block Co., springtime is a good time to remind our customers how to take care of their Butcher Block investment.

So, let’s review some best practices and how to clean butcher block cutting boards, standing blocks, tables or countertops…

Daily Cleaning – Clean butcher block after every use.

  • Scrape – Gently remove any food particles with a scraper or spatula. If you happen to have a varnish surface, remove food particles with a sponge so as not to scratch the surface (remember, you shouldn’t be cutting directly on a varnish finish).
  • Wash – To clean butcher block, wipe the surface with a clean wash cloth dipped in hot water and mild dish soap. Rinse the wash cloth and wipe the butcher block again. (Never submerge your butcher block in water).
  • Dry – Using a paper towel or dish towel, dry the surface of your butcher block thoroughly. Store your cutting boards on edge to dry both sides completely, and to save counter space.

Deodorizing – Keep your butcher block smelling fresh.

  • Neutralize odors before they arise.
  • Fill a spray bottle with white vinegar.
  • From time to time, after you prepare food on your butcher block, clean the butcher block then spray vinegar onto it.
  • Allow it to stand for a least 30 seconds before rinsing and drying.

 Disinfecting – Occasionally disinfect your butcher block, especially after prepping raw meat, fish or poultry.

  • Clean butcher block first following the steps above.
  • It’s necessary to kill germs, not just reduce their count. You’ll need a disinfecting solution that destroys ALL microbes in 10 minutes.
  • Use a 3 percent hydrogen peroxide. You can blend your own solution using 35% food-grade hydrogen peroxide by mixing one part with 11 parts of water.
  • Pour the hydrogen peroxide onto the butcher block, spread it around using a clean sponge or cloth and let it stand for 10 minutes.
  • Rinse the solution off of the butcher block surface by wiping with a clean, wet cloth. Then dry the butcher block thoroughly with a paper towel or dish cloth.
  • Follow the steps below to moisturize your butcher block.

Moisturizing – Butcher Block with an oil finish needs to be re-oiled to keep it from drying and cracking.

  • At least once a month (more often if used heavily), oil your butcher block.
  • Use a food-grade mineral oil like John Boos Mystery Oil. Apply the oil with a plastic grocery bag, spreading the oil over all surfaces. Let the oil stand over night to penetrate the wood.
  • The next morning, wipe off any excess oil using a paper towel.
  • Whereas oil penetrates the surface of wood to moisturize it, a good board cream will leave a silky, wax barrier. Seal in the moisture with John Boos Board Cream. Apply the cream over the butcher block like you would apply a moisturizing lotion. Let it sit for a few hours or over night. Wipe off any excess with a paper towel.
  • Note – Butcher Block with a varnish surface does not need to be moisturized with oil or cream.

These helpful tips are applicable any time of year, not just springtime. So remember to clean butcher block to keep it healthy and to protect your investment. All it takes is a little tender loving butcher block care.  For more information, check out our Complete Butcher Block Care and Repair Guide.

Acclaimed Chef Couple Opens Unique SuperBite Restaurant in Portland

Acclaimed Chef Couple Opens Unique SuperBite Restaurant in Portland

Greg Denton and his wife Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton – 2016 finalists for the “James Beard Award, Best Chef Northwest” competition and named among the Best New Chefs by Food & Wine magazine – opened their critically acclaimed Ox Restaurant in Portland, Oregon in 2012. Just one year later, Ox – a modern Argentine steakhouse known for its sizzling grill – was named Restaurant of the Year by The Oregonian.

Grill masters Greg and Gabi attribute the distinctive taste of their meat and fish to their unique wood-fired grill, which features a catch basin that captures delicious drippings from delicacies on the grill for recycling into an even tastier marinade. Greg explains, “We add a special blend of herbs and seasonings to the juice we capture, then use it to baste the steaks as they cook.” Ox is located at 2225 N.E. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. 

Encouraged by the notoriety, in March the Dentons released their first cookbook: “Around the Fire: Recipes for Inspired Grilling and Seasonal Feasting from Ox Restaurant.” It includes 100 black-belt recipes for inspired backyard grillers – vegetarians and carnivores alike. The book is flagged “Number One Best-Seller” on Amazon.

Fresh on the heels of widespread acclaim for both Ox and their inaugural cookbook, the Dentons opened their second unique concept restaurant in Portland in April. According to Gabi, “SuperBite is all about small dishes packed with big flavor. It’s a thrill for chefs to have a chance to be creative and bold in devising flavorful, unusual combinations.” And the cooks’ uncustomary experience doesn’t end there. “Unlike other restaurants,” adds Gabi, “here patrons will actually be served by the team who created the food. That feedback loop will help our chefs and our concept evolve.” SuperBite is located at 527 SW 12th Ave. SuperBite

One thing not unusual about SuperBite is its kitchen countertops. They’re butcher block tops made by John Boos in Central Illinois and supplied by Boos’ online dealer, Butcher Block Co.

SuperBite John Boos According to Chef Greg, “I have used Boos equipment my entire career. They have a great reputation in the industry and such a strong following among chefs that I respect that this was one of the easiest decisions we faced in launching our new restaurant.”
About Butcher Block Co. – A leading online seller of kitchen furniture, equipment and such accessories as cutting boards, knives and knife blocks. Butcher Block Co. offers kitchen islands, carts and tables, and specializes in wood countertops. They carry products made by John Boos, Catskill Craftsmen and other leading manufacturers.
For more information, contact:
Kathleen Grodsky
[email protected]

New Countertops You’ll Love – Let Us Count the Ways!

New Countertops You’ll Love – Let Us Count the Ways!

As you have probably noticed, we recently introduced a new line of countertops. Butcher Block Co. countertops are available in 15 different species, providing you with a wide range of aesthetic choices and expanded sizing options. The variety of wood species, size, edging, and finish options means you are sure to find something that will work for your project!

As more homeowners are choosing to take on remodeling and renovation projects, the introduction of Butcher Block Co. countertops has come at the perfect time.

According to Consumer Affairs, spending on home remodeling projects is expected to increase by 9.7% by early next year, and one of the best opportunities for return on investment is updating the kitchen.

countertops

We love our John Boos countertops in Blended, Edge, and End Grain, but we know our customers are sometimes looking for something a little different. With expanded sizing options in length, width, and thickness, Butcher Block Co. countertops offer solutions for very small and very large projects that we previously could not accommodate, and with faster turn-around times, too. Sometimes our customers are simply looking for a beautiful wood countertop and are not interested in using it as butcher block. Our large selection of species provides choices for heavy use (Maple, Hickory, Mahogany) to light use (Knotty Pine, Alder, Spanish Cedar), so you can find a beautiful countertop no matter your needs.

While Butcher Block Co. countertops are also available in the traditional butcher block styles of Edge Grain and End Grain, our most popular has been the Plank Style. With face-grain boards ranging in width from three to six inches, Plank Style countertops offer more of the natural character of the tree. The last several years have seen a boom in natural elements being used in the kitchen to bring warmth to modern design. The addition of plank style countertops has come with a new set of customers who appreciate the broader visual picture of the grain pattern and natural color variation offered by these tops.

countertops

Customers who are seeking an even more rustic look can opt for a hand-scraped finish on either plank style or edge grain countertops. The hand-scraped finish is achieved by running a scraper along the length of the top, creating slight variations in the surface. In Red and White Oak, you may also choose a quarter-sawn option, which showcases the rings of the source tree and provides a unique look and superior stability. Further customization can be found in our eight different edge options ranging from a sanded square edge to the classic small or large Roman Ogee.

countertops

Butcher Block Co countertops are made-to-order and take 2-3 weeks for production, depending on your choice of finish. Unfinished tops ship more quickly, and will need to be finished on-site right away. This is a great option should you elect to stain the top to your liking. Oil and varnish finished tops will arrive ready for install.

We are delighted to offer these new options to our customers! If you have any questions, please feel free to email us at [email protected] or give us a call at 877-845-5597.

Butcher Block Co. Launching Its Own Line of Wood Countertops

Butcher Block Co. Launching Its Own Line of Wood Countertops

Custom Butcher Block and Plank-Style Countertops in 15 Species of Wood

Since its inception, Butcher Block Co. has focused on selling other manufacturers’ branded kitchen goods on its high-traffic website (https://butcherblockco.com), most notably, kitchen countertops, furniture and cutting boards made of butcher block and manufactured by longtime industry leader, John Boos & Co. But the online store announced today that for the first time, it will offer products for kitchens under the Butcher Block Co. brand name.

Mark Shook, President of Kitchen Enthusiasts, Inc., who acquired Butcher Block Co. in 2012, announced the company has added to its catalog butcher block and plank-style custom countertops in 15 different species of wood: American Cherry, Ash, Beech, Birch, Brazilian Cherry, Hickory, Knotty Alder, Knotty Pine, Mahogany, Maple, Poplar, Red Oak, Spanish Cedar, Walnut and White Oak. Shook explained the change in company strategy. “Consumers absolutely love and trust the John Boos brand,” he said. “Boos makes fantastic countertops, but only in maple, cherry, red oak and walnut. Many visitors to our site are looking for another type of butcher block countertop or plank-style counters. There’s nothing that frustrates shoppers more than realizing that the product he or she is looking for is not in fact available on the site.”

Asked if company plans call for more product launches under the Butcher Block Co. brand name, Kathleen Grodsky, BBC’s VP of Marketing, shared that, “Butcher Block Co. is becoming recognized and trusted by enough American consumers, online shoppers in particular, that it makes good business sense to offer “store-brand” products, just as leading big-box retailers do, especially if they complement our current offerings.” According to Shopper Approved, a third-party collector of online shoppers’ store reviews, verified purchasers have given ButcherBlockCo.com an overall satisfaction rating of 4.9 out of 5.

About the company: Butcher Block Co., an online seller of kitchen furniture and cooking and serving accessories, is an authorized dealer for such leading manufacturers as John Boos & Co., Catskill Craftsmen, Oasis Concepts, Chris and Chris, Artelegno and Chroma. The company’s primary lines include butcher block countertops; kitchen islands, carts and tables; and wood cutting boards.

For more information please visit: https://butcherblockco.com

Contact:
Kathleen Grodsky
[email protected]
website: https://butcherblockco.com
phone: (877) 845-5597

2016 Kitchen Color Trends

2016 Kitchen Color Trends

Blog Color Trends The 2016 Pantone Color of the Year is actually a blending of two colors, warm Rose Quartz and cooler Serenity. This reflects peoples’ gravitation toward soft calming colors as they seek wellness in the new year. Maybe I was ahead of the trend two years ago when I painted my master bedroom a lighter shade of Serenity because I was absolutely seeking a calming, spa-feel in my bedroom.  If you recall, last years’ color of the year was Marsala. While I loved the color for the fashion industry it was not my favorite color in the kitchen. And again, this year I would not go out and paint my kitchen rose or light blue (although there is mention of a deeper blue making an appearance in walls, surfaces and appliances in 2016).

Kitchen color trends for this year include texture and contrast such as a light and dark color mix between cabinets, walls, countertops and flooring. And accent colors make a splash with pops of color on neutral backgrounds.

Blog Color Trends So the kitchen trends include soft neutrals like classic white, creamy white, tan and soft gray as backdrops for adding color and visual texture. Cabinet trends include finishes that highlight the natural wood grain. The paint experts announced shades of white as their color choice for 2016. The Sherwin-Williams Color of the Year is Alabaster which “provides an oasis of calmness, spirituality and ‘less is more’ visual relief”; The Benjamin Moore Color of the Year is Simply White. White and grays have become so popular in the kitchen that they are no longer trendy, rather they are now considered classics. These neutral palettes provide for endless design opportunities.

Blog Color Trends

John Boos “classic white” Butcher Block Tables include the Calais, Jasmine and Grazzi.

Clean, contemporary lines continue to dominate kitchen design. A contrast in materials and textures is apparent throughout the kitchen. From floor to ceiling different finishes mix lighter and mid-tone grains with neutral backgrounds. No longer is it necessary to match your wood species or grain styles.

Blog Color Trends

Color is deliberately being used to make a statement; deep rich reds, greens and blues for walls and kitchen islands; or just a punch of color used sparingly in neutral kitchens.

Blog Color Trends

Our John Boos Butcher Block Furniture is available in 13 different colored bases. (Shown above are Clover Green and Slate Gray)

Are you remodeling your kitchen in 2016?  We can help you discover the right Butcher Block furniture or countertops to fit your style and decor.  Give us a call at 877-845-5597 or visit us at www.ButcherBlockCo.com.  We are happy to assist!

John Boos To Build 100,000 Sq. Ft. Butcher Block Products Wood Plant in 2016

John Boos To Build 100,000 Sq. Ft. Butcher Block Products Wood Plant in 2016

Boos & Co. Renews Its Century-Old Commitment to Central-Illinois

No other business in the small town of Effingham, Illinois (population: 12,500) has been in operation longer than John Boos & Co. Founded in 1887, the company manufactures kitchen furniture and equipment for residential and commercial use. They’re most famous for their eponymous butcher blocks, as well as countertops, islands, tables, carts and cutting boards made of butcher block.

But soon, all these Boos wood products will be manufactured in a new facility. On December 15, the Effingham City Council will meet to consider selling to Boos a 15-acre parcel appraised at $300,000. It’s owned by the city and located near Boos’ corporate offices and modern metal plant situated at 3601 South Banker Street in Effingham. Production of stainless steel work tables, cabinets, sinks and shelving began there in 2011.

According to Vic Jansen, Director of Manufacturing for Boos & Co., “The wood plant is located at 315 South First St., and the outlet store is located at 507 East Fayette Avenue. But after the move it would all be together, except being separated by Thies Avenue. First we’d like to get the land secured.” Boos expects to break ground on a 100,000 square-foot facility by spring; sooner if weather permits.

Mark Shook, President of Boos’ online dealer Butcher Block Co. (website: https://butcherblockco.com), explained that, “It’s a smart move for Boos to opt for a greenfield project. That way they can invest in state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment that expands their capabilities, enhances flexibility and lowers costs. Plus, by shortening the physical distance between departments they can improve internal communications. This should boost innovation and shorten the time it takes to develop and bring new products to market.”

John Boos butcher blocks and cutting boards are used daily by such celebrity chiefs as Mario Batali and Emeril Lagasse. They’re featured regularly on food and cooking-oriented channels, including The Food Network. Professional chefs also employ them at such famous restaurants as The Border Grill in Santa Monica and New Orleans’ Bayone Restaurant. The company’s factory outlet and showroom in Effingham is open to the public daily.

Since 2006, Butcher Block Co. has been selling products designed for home and commercial kitchens. The company offers for sale butcher block cutting boards, carts, islands and tables, but is best known as a destination site for premium custom wood countertops.

For more information please visit: http://johnboos.com and https://butcherblockco.com.

Contact:

Kathleen Grodsky

[email protected]

website: https://butcherblockco.com

phone: (877) 845-5597

Walnut Butcher Block – Bring the Trend Home

Walnut Butcher Block – Bring the Trend Home

Over the last several months, we have seen a substantial increase in orders of Walnut butcher block products. The popularity of Walnut butcher block has been growing steadily for years, but the recent sales indicate this trend has really taken off! So, what’s got people so excited about Walnut? To put it simply: it’s gorgeous! Walnut butcher block has the ability to look both modern and rustic, making it a versatile material that can be used in just about any room of your home.

Whether you lean toward traditional country, sleek minimalism, or ornate details, Walnut butcher block can fit in beautifully with your style.

Let’s start small with countertop cutting boards. A Walnut butcher block cutting board is not only functional, it adds a pop of color and style to your kitchen. Because of their good looks, Walnut cutting boards and chopping blocks also double nicely as serving boards. Can’t you just picture an array of fabulous cheeses laid out on one of these beauties?

Walnut Butcher Block

If you are looking for more prep space than a cutting board will provide, consider adding a stunning Walnut butcher block island or cart to your kitchen. This is a great way to bring in some warmth and usable space if you’re not quite ready to remodel the whole kitchen. A Walnut butcher block island, table, or cart will add a fine furniture look to your home.

Walnut Butcher Block

If you are ready to remodel the whole kitchen, or if you just want to update an existing island or countertop, we have Walnut butcher block countertops available in a wide variety of sizes, and can customize to your specific size or shape if needed. Available in End, Edge, and Blended Grains, you are sure to find a look that fits your personal style. With its rich beauty, Walnut butcher block also stuns in other rooms of your home, from the office to the laundry room.

Walnut Butcher Block

If you would like to squeeze a little Walnut into your life, check out our selection of beautiful products, or give us a call and let us know what you’re looking for. We are thrilled to offer such a gorgeous collection of Walnut butcher block pieces for your home. This is one trend that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, so jump on board with us!

Repairing Butcher Block

Repairing Butcher Block

As a natural product, butcher block may occasionally remind you of its wild roots by showing off a small crack, wind shake, or split. Your knowledge of repairing butcher block doesn’t need to be vast in order to take care of the most common issues.

In fact, repairing butcher block is pretty simple as long as you have the right information available. Lucky for you, we’ve got just what you need!

infographic. Splits and Cracks No Worries.

 

Not so bad, right? Repairing butcher block is often a much better alternative to replacing it, saving you time and money. And remember, we’re the experts in all things butcher block, so if you’ve got a problem, we’re here to help!

Butcher Block Finish: Natural Oil vs Varnique

Butcher Block Finish: Natural Oil vs Varnique

When ordering butcher block countertops you have the option to choose a Natural Oil Finish or a Varnique Semi-Gloss Finish. The most commonly asked question we get from consumers is “What is the difference between a natural oil and a Varnique finish?” This is a great question and an easy one to answer. All you have to do is think about how you intend to use your butcher block and how much maintenance you are willing to sign up for.

NATURAL OIL FINISH

Most butcher blocks come pre-treated with a food-safe, natural oil finish that moisturizes and protects the wood and makes it safe for food preparation, including cutting. All cutting boards and chopping blocks come with a natural oil finish. This finish must be renewed through the reapplication of butcher block oil or board cream about once a month. A stained or discolored natural-oil board can be restored fairly easily by simply sanding the stained area lightly then re-oiling the board.

A natural oil finish does require monthly maintenance.

  • Oil it every 3 to 4 weeks depending upon usage. When it looks dry or lighter in color it is time to oil.
  • Boos Block ® Mystery Oil and the Boos Block ® Board Cream are recommended to be used together.
  • First apply Mystery Oil. The oil and minerals penetrate through the wood surface to increase its longevity. Let dry.
  • Then wipe on Block Cream to seal the top coating of the wood to provide a thick surface protection.
  • Tip – use a plastic grocery bag instead of a cloth to spread the Mystery Oil over a large butcher block surface. This avoids oil absorbing into a cloth or getting on your hands.

VARNIQUE SEMI-GLOSS FINISH

Varnique is a branded, varnish-like product developed by John Boos & Co. Although Varnique provides a fine-furniture look and is perfect for general kitchen chores, it is not to be cut upon, since nicks in this hard-shell coating could leave unprotected the wood beneath. Varnique provides a virtually maintenance-free semi-gloss finish that seals and protects wood. It is the finish of choice among bakers in particular, since it provides a hard, smooth, non-stick surface on which to roll dough. Although not impermeable, a surface finished with Varnique is more resistant to spotting and staining.

Varnique finish is virtually maintenance-free. It is easily cleaned with mild soap and warm water, followed by a towel dry.

Which butcher block finish is best for you?  If you want to cut on your butcher block, you must choose a natural oil finish.

Oil vs Varnique white

Oil vs Varnique.xlsx

Custom Countertops from Start to Finish

Custom Countertops from Start to Finish

Last week we talked about some of the cool custom projects we have worked on with our customers, so I thought it would be a good time to fill you in on just how to do a custom countertop project of your own.

If you are in the market for a new custom countertop for any room of the house, we have a fairly simple process to get you from design to install.

Step 1: Choose Materials

Your first step is to pick out your materials. We have a nice rundown of your options here, which explains the pros and cons of the different wood species and grain styles and what jobs each type works best for. If you’re having difficulty making a final decision, let us know and we’ll send out some samples for you.

Step 2: Send in Specs

Once you have determined your materials, we need to see your layout and size requirements. You can send a simple sketch of your countertop needs to [email protected], detailing the dimensions and any cutouts. This can (should) be very basic; I don’t need your cabinet plans or blueprints from your contractor – just a simple sketch of the countertops. Because we can’t sit down together in-person, it’s important that I can see what you are visualizing; this occasionally manifests as a cell phone picture of a doodle on a napkin that is emailed to me while I am still on the phone with the customer, and that is perfectly okay! If you are unsure of the best layout for your space, send over what you have and we can talk it through. Sometimes we need to change things around a bit to accommodate extra-large sizes or unique shapes, and I review each project to make sure we are using the method that makes the most sense for design, installation, and budget. As you can see, we work with super simple hand-drawn sketches, professional images, and everything in between.

Custom Countertop

Step 3: Review Your Quote

We will price out your custom countertop project and send you a firm price quote. This can generally be done within about 24 hours, depending on how complicated your design is. Your quote will have a breakdown of the pricing if you have multiple pieces.

Step 4: Place Your Order

After reviewing your quote and finalizing all your details, we can get your order processed and sent over to the Boos factory for manufacturing. I will need the details for any and all appliances, sinks, etc. that will be installed in your tops; you can email me the make and model number of each item.

Step 5: Confirm Specs

At this point, I create a drawing to send over to the engineering team at Boos, who will do all their fancy engineering stuff and work up an approval sketch for you to sign off on. This is the most important step in getting you the perfect custom countertops, so review the details thoroughly and have your contractor (if you are using one) verify all the specifications. If there are any issues, you just need to let me know and I will have them corrected. When everything looks perfect, sign your sketch and send it back to me. With your signed sketch on file, your order is put into the production queue at Boos and manufacturing can begin.

Custom Countertop

Step 6: Patience and Excitement

And now you just need to wait. Custom countertops average about four weeks for production, so make sure you order far enough in advance. Nobody wants a kitchen without countertops! Once your countertops arrive, inspect them thoroughly and then allow them to acclimate for at least 72 hours in the room in which they will be installed. Installation is fairly straightforward and is often done by the homeowner without the aid of a contractor. Just make sure you follow these instructions properly. If at any point in this process you have questions, just let us know! We are here to help!

Custom Countertop